Kathasaritsagara (the Ocean of Story)
1. Story of Vararuci...
It came to pass in the course of time that one day, when the reading of the Vedas was finished, the teacher Varṣa, who had performed his daily ceremonies, was asked by us:
“How comes it that such a city as this has become the home of Sarasvatī and Lakṣmī? tell us that, O teacher.”
Hearing this, he bade us listen, for that he was about to tell the history of the city.
1b. The Founding of the City of Pāṭaliputra
There is a sanctifying place of pilgrimage, named Kanakhala, at the point where the Ganges issues from the hills, where the sacred stream was brought down from the tableland of Mount Uśīnara by Kāñcanapāta, the elephant of the gods, having cleft it asunder. In that place lived a certain Brāhman from the Deccan, performing austerities in the company of his wife, and to him were born there three sons. In the course of time he and his wife went to heaven, and those sons of his went to a place named Rājagṛha, for the sake of acquiring learning. And having studied the sciences there, the three, grieved at their unprotected condition, went to the Deccan in order to visit the shrine of the god Kārttikeya. Then they reached a city named Chinchinī, on the shore of the sea, and dwelt in the house of a Brāhman named Bhojika, and he gave them his three daughters in marriage, and bestowed on them all his wealth, and having no other children, went to the Ganges to perform austerities. And while they were living there in the house of their father-in-law a terrible famine arose, produced by drought. Thereupon the three Brāhmans fled, abandoning their virtuous wives (since no care for their families touches the hearts of cruel men). Then the middle one of the three sisters was found to be pregnant; and those ladies repaired to the house of Yajñadatta, a friend of their father’s; there they remained in a miserable condition, thinking each on her own husband (for even in calamity women of good family do not forget the duties of virtuous wives). Now in the course of time the middle one of the three sisters gave birth to a son, and they all three vied with one another in love towards him.
So it happened once upon a time that, as Śiva was roaming through the air, the mother of Skanda, who was reposing on Śiva’s breast, moved with compassion at seeing their love for their child, said to her husband:
“My lord, observe, these three women feel great affection for this boy, and place hope in him, trusting that he may some day support them; therefore bring it about that he may be able to maintain them, even in his infancy.”
Having been thus entreated by his beloved, Śiva, the giver of boons, thus answered her:
“I adopt him as my protégé, for in a previous birth he and his wife propitiated me, therefore he has been born on the earth to reap the fruit of his former austerities; and his former wife has been born again as Pāṭalī, the daughter of the King Mahendravarman, and she shall be his wife in this birth also.”
Having said this, that mighty god told those three virtuous women in a dream:
“This young son of yours shall be called Putraka; and every day when he awakes from sleep a hundred thousand gold pieces shall be found under his pillow, and at last he shall become a king.”
Accordingly, when he woke up from sleep, those virtuous daughters of Yajñadatta found the gold and rejoiced that their vows and prayers had brought forth fruit. Then by means of that gold Putraka, having in a short time accumulated great treasure, became a king, for good fortune is the result of austerities.
Once upon a time Yajñadatta said in private to Putraka:
“King, your father and uncles have gone away into the wide world on account of a famine, therefore give continually to Brāhmans, in order that they may hear of it and return: and now listen, I will tell you the story of Brahmadatta:
Ibb. King Brahmadatta 
There lived formerly in Benares a king named Brahmadatta. He saw a pair of swans flying in the air at night. They shone with the lustre of gleaming gold, and were begirt with hundreds of white swans, and so looked like a sudden flash of lightning surrounded by white clouds. And his desire to behold them again kept increasing so mightily that he took no pleasure in the delights of royalty. And then, having taken counsel with his ministers, he caused a fair tank to be made according to a design of his own, and gave to all living creatures security from injury. In a short time he perceived that those two swans had settled in that lake, and when they had become tame he asked them the reason of their golden plumage.
And then those swans addressed the king with an articulate voice:
“In a former birth, O king, we were born as crows; and when we were fighting for the remains of the daily offering in a holy empty temple of Śiva we fell down and died within a sacred vessel belonging to that sanctuary, and consequently we have been born as golden swans with a remembrance of our former birth.”
Having heard this, the king gazed on them to his heart’s content, and derived great pleasure from watching them.
Ib. The Founding of the City of Pāṭaliputra
“Therefore you will gain back your father and uncles by an unparalleled gift.” When Yajñadatta had given him this advice, Putraka did as he recommended; when they heard the tidings of the distribution, those Brāhmans arrived; and when they were recognised they had great wealth bestowed on them, and were reunited to their wives. Strange to say, even after they have gone through calamities, wicked men, having their minds blinded by want of discernment, are unable to put off their evil nature. After a time they hankered after royal power, and being desirous of murdering Putraka, they enticed him under pretext of a pilgrimage to the temple of Durgā; and having stationed assassins in the inner sanctuary of the temple, they said to him: “First go and visit the goddess alone. Step inside.”
Thereupon he entered boldly, but when he saw those assassins preparing to slay him he asked them why they wished to kill him. They replied:
“We were hired for gold to do it by your father and uncles.”
“I will give you this priceless jewelled ornament of mine. Spare me. I will not reveal your secret; I will go to a distant land.”
The assassins said, “So be it,” and taking the ornament they departed, and falsely informed the father and uncles of Putraka that he was slain. Then those Brāhmans returned and endeavoured to get possession of the throne, but they were put to death by the ministers as traitors. How can the ungrateful prosper?
In the meanwhile that King Putraka, faithful to his promise, entered the impassable wilds of the Vindhya, disgusted with his relations. As he wandered about he saw two heroes engaged heart and soul in a wrestling match and he asked them who they were. They replied:
“We are the two sons of the Asura Maya, and his wealth belongs to us, this vessel, and this stick, and these shoes; it is for these that we are fighting, and whichever of us proves the mightier is to take them.”
When he heard this speech of theirs, Putraka said, with a smile: “That is a fine inheritance for a man!” Then they said:
“By putting on these shoes one gains the power of flying through the air; whatever is written with this staff turns out true; and whatever food a man wishes to have in the vessel is found there immediately.”
When he heard this, Putraka said:
“What is the use of fighting? Make this agreement, that whoever proves the best man in running shall possess this wealth.”
Those simpletons said, “Agreed,” and set off to run, while the prince put on the shoes and flew up in the air, taking with him the staff and the vessel. Then he went a great distance in a short time and saw beneath him a beautiful city named Ākarṣikā and descended into it from the sky. He reflected with himself:
“Courtesans are prone to deceive, Brāhmans are like my father and uncles, and merchants are greedy of wealth; in whose house shall I dwell?”
Just at that moment he reached a lonely dilapidated house, and saw a single old woman in it; so he gratified that old woman with a present, and lived unobserved in that broken-down old house, waited upon respectfully by the old woman.
“I am grieved, my son, that you have not a wife meet for you. But here there is a maiden named Pāṭalī, the daughter of the king, and she is preserved like a jewel in the upper story of a seraglio.”
While he was listening to this speech of hers with open ear the God of Love found an unguarded point and entered by that very path into his heart. He made up his mind that he must see that damsel that very day, and in the night flew up through the air to where she was, by the help of his magic shoes. He then entered by a window, which was as high above the ground as the peak of a mountain, and beheld that Pāṭalī, asleep in a secret place in the seraglio, continually bathed in the moonlight that seemed to cling to her limbs: as it were the might of love in fleshly form reposing after the conquest of this world.
While he was thinking how he should awake her, suddenly outside a watchman began to chant:
“Young men obtain the fruit of their birth when they awake the sleeping one, embracing her as she sweetly scolds, with her eyes languidly opening.”
On hearing this encouraging prelude, he embraced that fair one with limbs trembling with excitement, and then she awoke. When she beheld that prince, there was a contest between shame and love in her eye, which was alternately fixed on his face and averted. When they had conversed together, and gone through the ceremony of the gāndharva marriage, that couple found their love continually increasing as the night waned away. Then Putraka took leave of his sorrowing wife, and with his mind dwelling only on her, went in the last watch of the night to the old woman’s house. So every night the prince kept going backwards and forwards, and at last the intrigue was discovered by the guards of the seraglio. Accordingly they revealed the matter to the lady’s father, and he appointed a woman to watch secretly in the seraglio at night. She, finding the prince asleep, made a mark with red lac upon his garment to facilitate his recognition. In the morning she informed the king of what she had done, and he sent out spies in all directions, and Putraka was discovered by the mark and dragged out from the dilapidated house into the presence of the king. Seeing that the king was enraged, he flew up into the air with the help of the shoes, and entered the palace of Pāṭalī.
He said to her,
“We are discovered, therefore rise up, let us escape with the help of the shoes,”
and so taking Pāṭalī in his arms he flew away from that place through the air. Then descending from heaven near the bank of the Ganges, he refreshed his weary beloved with cakes provided by means of the magic vessel. When Pāṭalī saw the power of Putraka, she made a request to him, in accordance with which he sketched out with the staff a city furnished with a force of all four arms. In that city he established himself as king, and his great power having attained full development, he subdued that father-in-law of his, and became ruler of the sea-engirdled earth. This is that same divine city, produced by magic, together with its citizens; hence it bears the name of Pāṭaliputra, and is the home of wealth and learning.
1. Story of Vararuci...
When we heard from the mouth of Varṣa the above strange and extraordinarily marvellous story, our minds, O Kāṇabhūti, were for a long time delighted with thrilling 'wonder.
NOTES ON THE “MAGICAL ARTICLES” MOTIF IN FOLK-LORE
A similar incident to that in our text is found in Grimm’s Fairy Tales, translated by Mrs Pauli, p. 370. The hero of the tale called “The Crystal Ball” finds two giants fighting for a little hat. On his expressing his wonder, “Ah,” they replied, “you call it old, you do not know its value. It is what is called a wishing hat, and whoever puts it on can wish himself where he will, and immediately he is there.” “Give me the hat,” replied the young man. “I will go on a little way and when I call you must both run a race to overtake me, and whoever reaches me first, to him the hat shall belong.” The giants agreed, and the youth, taking the hat, put it on and went away; but he was thinking so much of the princess that he forgot the giants and the hat, and continued to go farther and farther without calling them. Presently he sighed deeply and said: “Ah, if I were only at the Castle of the Golden Sun.”
Wilson (Collected Works, vol. iii, p. 16.9, note) observes that “the story is told almost in the same words in the [Persian] Bahār-i-Dānish, a purse being substituted for the rod; Jahāndār obtains possession of it, as well as the cup, and slippers in a similar manner. Weber [Eastern Romances, Introduction, p. 39] has noticed the analogy which the slippers bear to the cap of Fortunatus. The inexhaustible purse, although not mentioned here, is of Hindu origin also, and a fraudulent representative of it makes a great figure in one of the stories of the Dasa Kumāra Charita [ch. ii; see also L. Deslongchamps, Essai sur les Fables Indiennes, Paris, 1838, p. 35 et seq., and Grässe, Sagen des Mittelalters, Leipzig, 1842, p. 1 9 et seq.].” The additions between brackets are due to Dr Reinholdt Rost, the editor of Wilson’s Essays.
The Mongolian form of the story may be found in Sagas from the Far East, p. 24. A similar incident also occurs in the Swedish story in Thorpe’s Scandinavian Tales, entitled “The Beautiful Palace East of the Sun and North of the Earth.” A youth acquires boots by means of which he can go a hundred miles at every step, and a cloak that renders him invisible in a very similar way.
I find that in the notes in Grimm’s third volume, p. 168 (edition of 1856), the passage in Somadeva is referred to, and other parallels given. The author of these notes compares a Swedish story in Cavallius, p. 182, and Prohle, Kindermärchen, No. 22. He also quotes from the Siddhī Kūr, the story to which I have referred in Sagas from the Far East, and compares a Norwegian story in Ashbjörnsen, pp. 53, 171, a Huṅgarian story in Mailath and Gaal, No. 7, and an Arabian tale in the continuation of The Thousand Nights and a Night (see later in this note). See also Sicilianische Marchen, by Laura Gonzenbach, part i, story 31. Here we have a tablecloth, a purse and a pipe. When the tablecloth is spread out one has only to say: “Dear little tablecloth, give macaroni”—or roast meat or whatever may be required—and it is immediately present. The purse will supply as much money as one asks it for, and the pipe is something like that of the Pied Piper of Hamelin—everyone who hears it must dance. Dr Kohler, in his notes at the end of Laura Gonzenbach’s collection, compares (besides the story of Fortunatus, and Grimm, iii, 202), Zingerle, Kinder und Hausmärchen, ii, 73 and 193; Curze, Popular Traditions from Waldeck, p. 34; Gesta Romanorum, ch. cxx; Campbell’s Highland Tales, No. 10, and many others. The shoes in our present story may also be compared with the bed in the ninth novel of the tenth day of The Decameron. See also Ralston’s Russian Folk-Tales, p. 230; Veckenstedt’s Wendische Sagan, p. 152; and the story of “Die Kaiserin Trebisonda” in a collection of South Italian tales by Woldemar Kaden, entitled Unter den Olivenbáumen, published in 1880. The hero of this story plays the same trick as Putraka, and gains thereby an inexhaustible purse, a pair of boots which enable the wearer to run like the wind, and a mantle of invisibility. See also “ Beutel, Mäntelchen, und Wunderhorn,” in the same collection, and No. 22 in Miss Stokes’ Indian Fairy Tales, pp. 153-163. The story is found in the Avadānas, translated by Stanislas Julien (Lévêque, Mythes et Légendes de l’Inde et de la Perse, p. 570; Liebrecht, Zur Volkskunde, p. 117). M. Lévêque thinks that La Fontaine was indebted to it for his fable of L’Huître et les Plaideurs. See also De Gubernatis, Zoological Mythology, vol. i, pp. 126-127 and 162. We find a magic ring, brooch and cloth in No. 44 of the English Gesta. See also Syrische Sagen und Märchen, Von Eugen Prym und Albert Socin, p. 79, where there is a flying carpet. There is a magic tablecloth in the Bohemian “ Story of Büsmanda” (Waldau, p. 44), and a magic pot on p. 436 of the same collection; and a food-providing mesa in the Portuguese story “A Cacheirinha” (Coelho, Contos Populares Portuguezes, No. 24, pp. 58-60). In the Pentamerone, No. 42 (see Burton’s translation, vol. ii, p. 491), there is a magic chest. Kuhn has some remarks on the “ Tischchen deck dich” of German tales in his Westfälische Märchen, vol. i, p. 369.
For a similar artifice to Putraka’s, see the story entitled “Fischer Märchen” in Gaal’s Märchen der Magyaren, p. 168; Waldau, Böhmische Märchen, pp. 260 and 564 (at this point Tawney’s notes end and mine begin —n.m.p.); Dasent’s Popular Tales from the Norse, 2nd edition, p. 263; and A. C. Fryer’s English Fairy Tales from the North Country. See also “Some Italian Folk-Lore,” H. C. Coote (Folk-Lore Record, 1878, vol. i, pp. 204-206). In the first story of Basile’s Pentamerone (Burton’s translation, 1893, vol. i, pp. 11-19) we find the hero, after receiving two magical gifts from a ghul, has them stolen by a landlord. A third gift, a magical mace, enables him to recover his stolen property. Similar incidents will be found in L. Leger’s Contes Populaires Slaves, Paris, 1882; E. H. Carnoy’s Contes Franqais, Paris, 1885; T. F. Crane’s Italian Popular Tales, London, 1885; and “The Legend of Bottle Hill” in J. C. Croker’s Fairy Legends and Traditions of the South of Ireland. The incident of an attempt to steal magic articles, usually inherited or given as a reward for some kindness, is common in folk-tales. We find it again in Busk’s Folk-Lore of Rome, 1894, p. 129, where three sons each inherit a magical object—an old hat (of invisibility), a purse (always containing money) and a horn (which summons “One” who accedes to all requests). A wicked queen gets hold of all these articles, but the second son (who, strange to say, is the hero of the story) finds magical figs which produce long noses and cherries which counteract the effect. He has his revenge on the queen, takes the magic articles, and leaves her with a nose twelve feet long. The story also occurs in Grimm’s Kinder und Hausmärchen. See also the fourteenth tale of Sagas from the Far East.
The lengthening and diminishing noses remind us of the “three wishes” cycle of stories, which started in India (Pañcatantra), went through Persia (see Clouston’s Book of Sindibād, 1884, pp. 71, 72, 190 and 253) and Arabia (see Burton’s Nights, vol. vi, p. 180, and Chauvin’s Bibliographie des Ouvrages Arabes, 1904, viii, pp. 51, 52), and via Turkey into Europe, where it appeared in La Fontaine’s Trois Souhaits, Prior’s Ladle and Les Quatre Souhaits de Saint Martin. Apart from the North European variants of the “magical articles” motif already mentioned, we find the shoes of swiftness worn by Loki when he escaped from Hell. It is not often one finds a recipe for making magic articles, but in an Icelandic story is the following:—
“The giant told her that Hermôdr was in a certain desert island, which he named to her; but could not get her thither unless she flayed the soles of her feet and made shoes for herself out of the skin; and these shoes, when made, would be of such a nature that they would take her through the air, or over the water, as she liked”
(.Icelandic Legends, translated by Powell and Magnusson, 2nd series, p. 397).
The invisible coat is identical with the Tamhut, or hat of darkness, in the Nibelungenlied and in the Nifflunga Saga, and with the Nebelkappe, or cloud-cap, of King Alberich, a dwarf of old German romance.
In the Norse tale of the “Three Princesses of Whiteland” (Dasent, 2nd edition, 1859, p. 209 et seq.) the wandering king procures a hat, cloak and boots from three fighting brothers.
In the Italian tale of “Liar Bruno” the articles are a pair of boots, a purse and a cloak.
In a Breton version (vol. i of Mélusine, under the title of “Voleur Avisé”) they are a cloak of transportation, an invisible hat, and gaiters which make the wearer walk as fast as the wind (cf with the story of “Die Kaiserin Trebisonda” mentioned on p. 26).
In tale 21 of Portuguese Folk-Tales (Folk-Lore Society, 1883) a soldier comes across two separate couples fighting. From the first couple he gets a cap of invisibility and from the second a pair of magical boots. Similar caps and coats occur in Mitford’s Tales of Old Japan, where Little Peachling is given these articles by the conquered ogres.
There is a curious Mongolian legend (Folk-Lore Journal, 1886, vol. iv, pp. 23, 24) in which a man obtains a gold-producing stone from two quarrelling strangers. The interest in the tale lies in the fact that from this incident the entire Chinese nation can trace its origin!
Returning to Arabia, we read in the Nights (Burton, vol. viii, p. 120) that Hasan of Bassorah
“came upon two little boys of the sons of the sorcerers, before whom lay a rod of copper graven with talismans, and beside it a skull-cap of leather, made of three gores and wroughten in steel with names and characters. The cap and rod were on the ground and the boys were disputing and beating each other, till the blood ran down between them; whilst each cried, ‘None shall take the wand but I.’ So Hasan interposed and parted them, saying, ‘What is the cause of your contention?’ and they replied, ‘O uncle, be thou judge of our case, for Allah the Most High hath surely sent thee to do justice between us.’ Quoth Hasan, ‘Tell me your case, and I will judge between you.’”
The cap made the wearer invisible and the owner of the rod had authority over seven tribes of the Jinn. For numerous references to incidents similar to those contained in " Hasan of Bassorah” see Chauvin’s Bibliographic des Onvrages Arabes, vii, pp. 38, 39, under the headings of “ Ruse pour s’emparer d’un objet précieux” and “ Invisible.”
There is another story in the Nights (Burton, vol. iv, p. 176), called “Abu Mohammed hight Lazybones,” in which the hero is presented with a sword of invisibility. Burton suggests in a note that the idea of using a sword for this purpose probably arose from the venerable practice of inscribing the blades with sentences, verses and magic figures.
Finally to get back to our starting-place—India. In Steel and Temple’s Wide-Awake Stories from the Pañjāb and Kashmir there are four magical articles—a wallet with two magic pockets, a staff which will restore to life, a brass pot providing food, and a pair of sandals of transportation.
In Lai Behari Day’s Folk-Tales of Bengal (p. 53 et seq.) a Brāhman receives from Durgā an earthen pot which provides sweetmeats. It is stolen, and Durgā gives a second pot, out of which issues Rākṣasas who soon help to recover the original gift. A similar story occurs in Freer’s Old Deccan Days (No. 12.— “The Jackal, the Barber and the Brahman”), where a food-producing chattee is recovered by another containing a magical stick and ropes by means of which the offenders are punished until they restore the stolen property.
In a manuscript at Le Bibliothèque Nationale is a story described as a “ Conte Hindoustani.” It has been translated into French by Garcin de Tassy as “L’inexorable Courtisane et les Talismans” (see Revue Orientate et Américaine, 1865, vol. x, pp. 149-157). It is a combination of two motifs. The first is that of the "magical articles.” The king finds four robbers quarrelling over a sword (capable of cutting off heads of enemies at any distance), a porcelain cup (providing food), a carpet (giving money), and a jewelled throne (of transportation). The king gets them in the usual way and arrives at a city where he sees a palace of great splendour. He is told it belongs to a wealthy courtesan whose fees are enormous. The king, however, falls in love with the girl and by means of the magic carpet gets enough money for a long stay. She learns the king’s secret and awaits her opportunity, until she obtains possession of the four magical articles. The king is reduced to beggary. During his wanderings while in this state, he discovers some magical water which turns those who touch it into monkeys. He collects some, and has his revenge on the courtesan, finally getting back his articles.
This second part of the tale belongs to that cycle of stories where a courtesan tries to ruin men and finally meets her match. The original of this motif is “The Story of the Merchant’s Son, the Courtesan and the Wonderful Ape, Ala,” which occurs in Chapter XVII of the Ocean of Story. I shall give numerous variants of the motif in a note to the tale when we come to it.
Apart from all the above there are numerous tales in which single magical articles appear. Several have been mentioned, but only as far as they have any analogy to the tale in the Ocean of Story. Further details will be found in W. A. Clouston’s Popular Tales and Fictions, 1887, vol. i, pp. 72-122, from which some of the above references have been derived.
See also P. Saintyves, Les Contes de Perrault, Paris, 1923, pp. 281-292.
As I have already stated in the Introduction, it is the incidents in a story which form the real guide to its history and migration. The plot is of little consequence, being abbreviated or embroidered according to the environment of its fresh surroundings. Thus we find a distinct theme, trait, or motif, as we may call it, appearing again and again—not only in Eastern fiction, but also in that of the West. If the motif be of a simple nature it seems much more probable that it forms part of the general stock of ideas common to every nation. Certain definite fiction motifs would naturally suggest themselves to most people, such as letting the youngest son marry the princess or find the treasure, or obtaining magical articles or help from supernatural beings. In cases like these there is no necessity to suspect any Eastern origin, although the Western tale may have been improved or enriched from the East.
In the “magical articles” motif we notice two distinct varieties: (1) where the articles are stolen by the hero; (2) where they are stolen from the hero. In (1) he nearly always meets two or more people fighting and, without any scruples, proceeds to trick them out of their belongings—in only one case (the first in this note) are the articles taken through absent-mindedness. In (2) the hero inherits or earns the articles; he is tricked into telling their secrets and then has them stolen, only to recover them by the help of the original donor.
A glance through the above references to the numerous variants of the “ magical articles” tale in East and West will show that it is in the Eastern stories in which the hero is allowed to steal with impunity, while in the Western tales he comes by the articles honestly. The Easterns have a highly developed sense of humour, and any successful trick played off against a Kāzi, fakir, or in fact anyone, is sure to bring a round of applause. I therefore suggest this as a possible explanation.
In conclusion, then, I would not class this motif as migratory to the same extent as is the story of “Upakośā and her Four Lovers,” which is to be discussed shortly. There is no doubt that it did travel from the East, but it seems probable that it found more or less the same ideas already in common circulation, for the simple reason that the particular motif happened to be rather a commonplace one. Perhaps the Eastern imagination could add a more amusing incident, portion of an incident, or a more striking dénouement to a tale already current in a Western land. It seems very probable that the incident of the fight over the magical articles was directly derived from the East, while the idea of the magical articles themselves was, in some form or other, already established in Western Märchen. — n.m.p.
I.e. of learning and material prosperity.2.
Literally the gate of the Ganges: it is now well known under the name of Haridvār (Hurdwar).3.
Dr Brockhaus renders the passage: “wo Śiva dieJāhnavī im goldenen Falle von den Gipfeln des Berges Uśīnara herabsandte.”4.
Skanda is Kārttikeya and his mother is, of course, Durgā, or Pārvatī, the consort of Śiva.5.
This may be compared with Grimm’s No. 60 , “ Die zwei Brüder.” Each of the brothers finds every day a gold piece under his pillow. In one of Waldau’s Bohmische Marchen, “Vogelkopf und Vogelherz,” p. 90, a boy named Fortunat eats the heart of the Glücksvogel and under his pillow every day are found three ducats. See also “Der Vogel Goldschweif,” in Gaal’s Marchen der Magyaren, p. 195.-M. H. Busk in Folk-Lore of Rome, London, 1894, pp. 146-154, tells a story which he says is orally current among the common people of Rome. The heart of a bird swallowed by the elder of two brothers has the effect of producing each morning a box full of sequins, which is always found under his head on awakening. The more usual method of enriching poor people in folk-tales is by means of a gold-producing article or animal. The former is nearly always an inexhaustible purse, while the latter varies considerably. In the Pañcatantra (iii, 5) and Æsop the gold-producing animal is a goose; it becomes an ass in Gonzenbach’s Sicilianische Marchen and the Pentamerone (1st div.), a ram or bull in Norse tales, a lion in Dozon’s Contes Albanais (No. 17), a little dog in La Fontaine’s Contes et Nouvelles, and a serpent in the Kalmuck Relations of Siddhī Kūr. In the Mahābliārata we read of King Sṛñjaya, who obtained as a boon a son whose nature was such that everything that issued from his body was pure gold. Cf. also the well-known story of Midas, King of Phrygia. —n.m.p.6.
In this case the austerities which he had performed in a former birth to propitiate Śiva.7.
This story is, according to Dr Rajendra Lāl Mitra, found in a MS. called the Bodhisattva Avadāna (. Account of the Buddhist Literature of Nepal> p. 53).8.
I.e. bali, a portion of the daily meal offered to creatures of every description, especially the household spirits. Practically the bali generally falls to some crow, hence that bird is called balibhuj.9.
For a description of this form of marriage see my note on pp. 87, 88 of this volume.— n.m.p.10.
Compare the way in which Zauberer Vergilius carries off the daughter of the Sulṭān of Babylon and founds the town of Naples, which he makes over to her and her children (Simrock’s Deutsche Volksbücher, vol. vi, pp. 354, 355). Dunlop is of opinion that the mediæval traditions about Vergil are largely derived from Oriental sources.11.
I.e. infantry, cavalry, elephants and archers.
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